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Wright Words: Meet a former Black Panther affiliate, inmate, Mormon

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  • Captain Green Heber City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2016 10:10 p.m.

    What an inspiration Brother Johnson is to the world. I am a life member, a former Naval Officer, and a retired Airline Captain. When I read about a great man like this I salute him with the highest of honor and respect. Thanks for following your conscience and being a missionary to the world.

  • John Brown 1000 Laketown, UT
    Sept. 19, 2014 12:11 a.m.

    Awesome article. Thanks sharing this!

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Aug. 31, 2014 3:37 p.m.

    Not long ago I had a conversation with a young black male who appeared to be as lost, angry, and tortured as this man once was. This is a conversion story far more impressive than my own, and it reinforces the Book of Mormon's promise that salvation through the Gospel is available to everyone, black and white, Jew and Gentile, male and female.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    RE:iron&clay,The words of Jesus from the New Testament, specifically the sermon on the mount.

    3 Nephi 13:12, (Jesus)“ deliver us from evil”( Poor KJV translation). Did Jesus teach the Nephites an abstract prayer in 34 A.D.?

    “As translated correctly”, Mt 6:13 NIV is “deliver us from “the evil one”= ( Greek, ho poneros, Satan).
    The presence of the article indicates not evil in general, but the evil one himself(Satan). In the context of Matthew's Gospel, such deliverance from the devil is linked to Jesus' temptation in 4:1-10: Because the Spirit led him into temptation by the evil one.

    Also, JS was unaware that “Erasmus added the doxology to the Mt 6:13 KJV, see 3 Nephi 13: 13. Per, Mormon scholar Stan Larson

  • Surf is Up Miami, FL
    Aug. 7, 2014 11:21 a.m.

    You're right Newt Observer. It is a conspiracy solely based on a picture of the man about whom this article was written.

    It is possible that originally the wrong picture was posted with the article. It is not and uncommon occurrence in news media. Did the story get changed too? I don't think so.

    Too bad you were seemingly focused on a picture that may or may not exist and thus unable to feel the message.

  • Leo Clear Las Cruces, NM
    Aug. 7, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    What a great story about Bro. Johnson. To me it only goes to show what we teach in the Church has great relevance to our sojourn in mortality. Sometimes I forget that everyone on this planet accepted the Plan of Salvation as presented by Jesus Christ in our pre-mortal existence. We are all Heavenly Father's children, some of us have lost our way. He is mindful of each of us as is shown by Bro. Johnson's story. We are, if we choose to be, masters of our destiny.Our Savior payed the price of redemption for every living soul through His incomprehensible act of the Atonement. How we use our agency will dictate who we become in this world. Bro. Johnson thank you for your courage, and realizing our responsibility to share what we know with the rest of the world. Every member a missionary!

  • Newt Observer Topeka, KS
    Aug. 7, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    What happened to the original picture that accompanied this article? It showed Brother Johnson in his military uniform. Something smells fishy here. If a newspaper is going to edit a story, there should be an editorial comment inserted explaining that a change was made. Things shouldn't just get flushed down the memory hole.

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    WOW! A truly amazing story. Thanks for sharing this DN!

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 7:16 a.m.

    The words of Jesus from the New Testament, specifically the beatitudes/sermon on the mount, is a voice of love and tolerance and forgiveness for one another.

    That voice is the opposite of the voice that encourages you to do something that is significantly less than good for those who are your enemies.

  • Surf is Up Miami, FL
    Aug. 6, 2014 10:47 p.m.

    I come from a similar background. I am so grateful for the atonement of Christ. I wish everybody in the world could catch just a glimpse of how lost we all are without it.

  • Clifton Palmer McLendon Gilmer, TX
    Aug. 6, 2014 1:30 p.m.

    I wish Brother Johnson would write his autobiography -- I would like to read it.

  • Kjirstin Youngberg Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 11:11 a.m.

    Thank you, Jason, for yet another influential personal story proving no matter how hard Satan tries, God is always stronger. We all need to let Him guide us.

    Over thirty years ago, I was asked to ghostwrite a book on the life of Eldridge Cleaver, who at one time had been the Minister of Information for the Black Panther Party. We worked together for several months before the project was killed. I was present at his baptism, and can testify the Lord himself was there, with many generations of his family members, both pre-existant, and those who had passed.

    There is a power among the people of African origin like no other I have known. As we are not accountable for Adam's transgression, neither are they to be condemned for Cain's.

    One day, these people will rise up to be the strongest pillars of this church and nation. It is up to us to make this happen. If we harbor any ill will toward people of color or other perceived differences, it is time to repent. We can do only two things perfectly in this life: forgive, and repent. Now is the time for both.

  • bbc SLC, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    Wow. Just wow.

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    Aug. 6, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    What a great story! This is why I read the Deseret News. The regular news is so negative. This is uplifting. The power of the Savior!

  • Jon1 Arlington, VA
    Aug. 6, 2014 9:03 a.m.

    A wonderful story of the power of the Gospel to change lives. Thanks so much!

  • lheaton Centerville, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    This story has touched my heart and confirmed yet once again the true and miraculous power of the Lord for each of us and the work He does within us. How grateful I am that I know this and can see the Hand of the Lord in Others, and in myself. Thank you Bro. Johnson for sharing your story with all of us. Thank you Bro. Wright for writing his story. The Gospel of Christ is true, the Atonement is the ultimate miracle!

  • donn layton, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 8:19 a.m.

    RE: The Caravan Moves On: Amazing story!

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see. T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear The hour I first believed. But,

    Moroni 10: Moroni’s words speak from the ‘dust’. KJV compared to(Latin vulgate, Is 29:4), and thy speech shall whisper out of the ‘dust’. and thy voice shall be from the earth like that of the “*pythonis=(familiar spirit)”, and out of the earth thy speech shall mutter.
    Acts 16:16 And it came to pass , as we went to prayer a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination= (*python/Grk,=4436) met us which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying .

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    Just goes to show that God loves everyone of us - He knows us personally, whether or not we know Him, and He wants us back. I sometimes look at gangsters, druggies and thugs as "beyond hope", but this story proves there is hope for us all. Sometimes the greater the change - the greater the testimony. Way to go Brother Johnson!

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 7:25 a.m.

    Isn't the Atonement a wonderful thing? This short article reinforces the fact that Satan is alive and well and working against the Kingdom of God.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Aug. 6, 2014 1:40 a.m.

    Inspiring. If only this young man could have found the church sooner, his crimes and misspent youth wouldn't have hurt so many people. Oh well. We've got him now and better late than never!

  • starman52 Magna, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 9:59 p.m.

    Thank you. I needed this for those I care about.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 5, 2014 9:48 p.m.

    John Johnson is a true example of the changing power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am glad his story was shared, and hope more can hear it. I think it would be good if we could have him come here to Detroit and give a fireside talk.

  • Ricardo Carvalho Provo, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 8:41 p.m.

    Thanks for such an uplifting account of such an uplifting life!

  • CVgal Smithfield, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 7:19 p.m.

    Isn't it wonderful that we all can change and that the Atonement is there for each and every one of us. His story is amazing!

  • Zamak Logan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 6:41 p.m.

    I served in the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission and was privileged to meet John Johnson. When he'd come out with us, those lessons were so intense! This man knows the bible backwards. He was awesome! The New Orleans 1st ward is full of awesome converts.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 6:01 p.m.

    Sometimes, we don't give people the opportunity to change. I'm grateful for you account and hope it helps me to realize that part of the change is that we allow people to change. We are required to forgive, and with the mercy that we mete, that amount will be given to us. Thank you both for an incredibly moving story.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Aug. 5, 2014 5:51 p.m.

    Amazing story! Yes, we can ALL change!

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Aug. 5, 2014 5:12 p.m.

    This is a powerful story of the potential for change. Thank you John Johnson and "Wright Words." I would enjoy knowing about his family life.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Aug. 5, 2014 4:59 p.m.

    This story seems very similar to the former Black Panther leader, Eldridge Cleaver.

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 4:51 p.m.

    Whoa! Amazing stories! Much thanks to Bro. Johnson for what you have done and for what you have become and thanks to Bro. Wright for this great read.

  • dogchow1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 4:45 p.m.

    Our choices do have consequences. I'm grateful for his life story and for his listening to the Spirit. Doing this has changed and blessed me in my life as well.

  • islandboy Honolulu, HI
    Aug. 5, 2014 4:28 p.m.

    I loved this story. Thank-you!

  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 4:25 p.m.

    Touching story - thanks for sharing!

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    Awesome story... I take it he did not do the bad deed.

  • Jennifer sandy, utah
    Aug. 5, 2014 3:44 p.m.

    Good story. Thanks!